It took a Yolo County jury only about two hours to convict teen Daniel Marsh of murder on Thursday September 25. In addition, the jury of eight women and four men found enhancements true for lying in wait, torture and use of a deadly weapon. Though Marsh was 15 when he committed the crimes, he is being tried as an adult. He now either faces life in prison or commitment to a state hospital for the insane.
Marsh is guilty of murdering Oliver “Chip” Northup, 87, and his wife Claudia Maupin, 76. Davis police found the couple’s bloody bodies riddled with dozens of stab wounds in bed at their South Davis condo on April 14, 2013. During his video-taped confession, which the jury viewed, Marsh chuckled when describing how, while he stabbed Maupin, “she wouldn’t die.” When Northup awoke, Marsh subdued the 87-year-old man with a quick deep stab in the neck.
Throughout the month-long trial, Marsh’s attorney, Public Defender Ron Johnson, argued side effects of medications caused Marsh to be unaware of what he was doing before and during the murders. The jury rejected this argument.
Marsh’s friends, family and teachers, as well as many medical experts testified as to the 17-year-old’s troubled childhood, his parents’ divorce, depression, and use of antidepressants. “His life wasn’t ‘Leave it to Beaver,’ but then again was it really all that tough?” Prosecutor Michael Cabral asked jurors. Cabral asserted, “[Marsh] was a predator searching the streets of Davis looking for somebody to kill.”
Johnson emphasized Marsh’s “dissociative state” during the murders in his closing argument. Cabral vehemently opposed Johnson’s argument. According to a Woodland Daily Democrat report, “Where Johnson stood behind a podium, timidly arguing his points, Cabral’s words echoed across the courtroom.”
Pacing before the jury, Cabral detailed Marsh’s plans for the murders. “It is clear that that man right there knew what he was doing,” Cabral said, pointing to Marsh. “He planned it for weeks.”
The sanity phase of Marsh’s trial begins September 29.
Daily Democrat: Davis couple’s family ‘relieved’ as Daniel Marsh found guilty of murder
Davis Enterprise: Jury finds Marsh guilty in murder of Davis couple